Saturday, November 10, 2012

Heart Rate High/Low Game & Grateful


I find my heart rate monitor most useful to govern my easy running- to make sure I am not running too fast. If it is not a speed work session, I keep myself in check.

Very rarely does it happen that I have to make sure I am not going too slow. Most often I run by feel, moseying at a comfortable pace (which may be 8:00-9:00 minute miles), checking the HRM from time to time.  My heart rate usually happens to be right within the range.

Sunday, I felt good.
I mean I felt GOOD.

It was long run day, and my monitor kept showing ludicrously low numbers in the first mile. I decided to go with it. The results? My first long run ever (outside of races) where I ran every mile under 8 minutes. At twelve miles it was fairly short, but my HR stayed under 140 (my target top end for easy). My calves had no idea what hit them.

This happened a few days in a row. Low heart rate>>>run faster to try reach the 139 mark.

Five days later they were still sore to roll out (but not to run).This little game of seeing how fast I needed to run to stay at the top end of easy range was maybe not-so-bright, but I was curious. 

I missed an interval workout, concerned that maybe I had strained my calves. Since then, I have decided that if my legs feel sore, that it means I really need to be in RECOVERY range (easier than easy).

Fast forward to today...
Interval session planned.

I spring out of bed on 5 hours of sleep, hit the road in 37F and expect to see my HRM in the 120's. Instead I can't make it down the driveway (easy pace) without seeing it hit 161- which is my 5k interval zone. WAY too high.

I slow down a bit and figure it will ease up...and it does, a little..to the 150's. Still 10 points too high. I could not get it to settle down.

Temptation calls...I considered taking the monitor off.
Instead I took off my ipod to see if it was interfering. Yet the numbers were still jumping from the 160's to the 170's and my max is 173!

It never felt like my heart was going to leap from my chest, but I decided to behave myself and abandoned my interval plans.

At home I took a nap, (or tried to) for about an hour.

After lunch I went out again and there were no issues with keeping my heart rate under 140, going at 8:30 pace. So I finished off 5x1k at 5k pace- never going above 161.

Now I just need to figure out how to run my intervals hard enough to get in the interval zone.

Gratitude
Thankful to enjoy running, and LIVING, here in this small town. 
Photo of Mary Beckley Bridge, built after the flood of 1964 washed out the old bridge.


Thankful to be a mom to these boys, and a wife to their dad.

Thankful for my health and my family's health.

Thankful to have a river for a playground.
Thankful for simple pleasures: Coffee, hot showers, a full freezer/pantry.

Thankful for the opportunity to home-school my kids, and to see two of them reading! 

Thankful for freedom and the men and women who work (have worked) to protect it.

Thankful for cousins and aunts and uncles and grandmas and grandpas who are just a shout away.

Thankful for friendships.

Thankful for a savior who would love and rescue me, despite my numerous flaws, faults, shortcomings.

Thankful for some quiet time, changing seasons, things to come.





30 comments:

  1. So much to be thankful for! Love these pics Raina. So gorgeous...the views and you and your sweet family. This HR stuff is actually interesting now. Before, I had NO schema for the topic and I would find my eyes just glazing over and I'd skim this type of stuff but I read all of it! ha! :) Hope you finish this weekend off on a good note! xo

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    1. Does this mean I will be reading some heart rate training posts from you soon? XOXO

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  2. Count me in as thankful, too! Lately, I've noticed quite a decrease in my average heart rate during runs - thinking it's the lower temps, but I don't know for sure. Great photos!

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    1. Oh, temperature plays a big role in it! I am happy you are having some cooler weather.

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  3. As your aerobic and cardiovascular fitness increases, your speed will also. HRMonitoring is something I used to do a lot when I was younger but haven't incorporated it into my running much lately. Takes a lot of patience (which I clearly lack - ha) but oh how rewarding the results are. Maybe you had a stressful morning and didn't even really know it with your limited sleep and thus your HR was high....regardless, glad it came down for the afternoon and you were able to get in your intervals.

    Gorgeous pictures. Fall is definitely over here and winter has arrived - bleh. Thankfully, it won't stay for long....but no leaves on the trees any longer :(.

    Beautiful gratitude list! :)

    (hugs)

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    1. You have a short, but beautiful fall in CO, Jill. I love your pics- always breathtaking.
      RE the monitor- yes PATIENCE, but not so bad after a while. I am not sure if it was the lack of sleep, or if maybe it was something I was wearing, but regardless, I wasn't going to try to have cardiac arrest. haha.

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  4. Beautiful pictures and love the gratitude!

    Interesting stuff about the HR monitor too. I have been trying to get myself into the habit of strapping mine back on to keep myself in check. I noticed after my half marathon last Sunday that although my HR was in the 130s on my Monday recovery run (I try to keep it around 145 for my recovery runs), my legs were so sore. That day, I listened to my legs. I guess when it doubt, legs trump heart, huh? I've also noticed that sleep DOES make a difference as far as increasing your HR levels too. Been trying to get a solid 8 each night. It's hard though!

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    1. You have some good examples here, Allison. Usually I try to let the least common denominator rule...legs or HR. If either are way off, I just go easy.

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  5. I think being grateful is a lost art. People everywhere seem so inclined to complain as much as possible about as much as possible and it is such a waste of time and energy. I always tell my kids that if they aren't actively being grateful for their blessings in life (and noticing them) then they are taking them for granted, which we shouldn't do. I love this post. The pictures are BEAUTIFUL!!! And you are doing so great with your training. :)

    Oh, and to answer your question, no, I am not racing the 5k on Thanksgiving. We organize it and put on the race, so it doesn't feel right to me to race it. Plus, I am focusing on marathon training and a 5k didn't fit in their very well. :)

    Thanks as always for your wonderful posts. Hugs!

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    1. So true, Erin. I am trying to figure out how to cultivate gratefulness with my kids. Very challenging. I will remember your words, though!

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  6. Like Amanda, since I started focusing on HR training and all but ignoring paces I am captivated by posts on the HR training of others! I've recently started experiencing faster paces with lowered HR. It's kind of nice...easier=faster and all that :)

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    1. Great work! That's a sure indicator of improvement, going faster regularly at the same heart rate.

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  7. I love the fall colors photo and the one of you reflecting at the water. So awesome!

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  8. So...when can I come visit this beautiful place?! LOL

    I have a sneaking suspicion the 5 hours of sleep really knocked your body's rhythms off. But wow, what an impressive long run!

    This HR stuff-while not perfect-is pretty dang cool:)

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    1. Oh, no doubt about the sleep. I have had some really weird interferances at times, though, and just wanted to see...I was tempted to run shirtless to see if static was causing problems, but it was too cold to test that. haha.
      A lot of runners with my race times would run that pace, and Daniels old calculator just about put me there, but i NEVER run that fast for easy. I probably won't again, without major recovery between!

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  9. I love reading about the HR ups and downs! I've had my share this week (and I got a new strap so I can't blame that any more). Wednesday I had my first ever easy mid-week long run that averaged sub-10-min miles for the whole way (yes, I'm much slower than you are!). Thursday's run was equally good. Then Friday I noticed things creeping up a bit again...and yesterday's 3-hour long run? Sigh. I took it slow....

    Tonight bedtime will be super early. Last night the husband wanted to watch a movie, and I say no to him too often when he wants to do something fun these days, so I stayed up late. And then our son decided to wet his bed and have a tummy ache 3 times in the night. I'm like the walking dead today. Such is training, right?

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    1. Oh man, you can relate!! hahaha. I can blame some crazy Settlers of Catan board game for mine...(I never play board games but wanted to be social and stayed up way too late.)
      For the long run, I have been making sure that I am not running too late the day before and try to be well rested, like you.
      I don't think I need a new strap yet, but when it's cold, I wonder if I am getting enough conductivity, or too much static electricity.

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  10. Nice post. Jealous of course!!!

    I really really like the last picture. I miss moments of solitude like that one you seem to be enjoying.

    Take care and Godspeed.

    Post script - yes, school has consumed me.

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    1. Solitude is excellent and hard to come by sometimes. Keep on plugging away..It'll be done before you know it.

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  11. Just incredible pictures!

    Good call on postponing the intervals. (Come to think of it, I often find excuses to avoid intervals which are MUCH less legitimate than yours.)

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    1. Ha! Well, I am thinking you don't need too many intervals for 100 milers. :)
      Thanks about the pics. Yours are pretty incredible!

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  12. It makes me feel better to read that other people have crazy heart rate days as well. I get so frustrated with HR training sometimes because of this. Doesn't seem like it is always consistent. I agree with you though... the HR monitor MAKES you run your easy days easy.


    This is going to sound totally off the wall, but back in college, one of our projects was to test how different music types effect mice heart rate and eating patterns. Leaving everything constant, we found that music type had a significant effect on the mice heart rate. Maybe we should load our IPOD's with a little Yanni piano music to get a lower HR:):):)

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    1. I don't know if I can handle Yanni!! LOL. Ok..maybe. maybe I need some Enya too. That is pretty interesting!

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  13. Sounds like you've been running really well recently - that is great about the low HR numbers on easy run days. That is usually my problem too - keeping low HR numbers on easy days.

    For Eugene - I'll be there from Friday at noon until Sunday at 6 or so. I know things can change, but looks like I might get lucky in terms of weather - no rain forecasted for Fri or Sat right now. Not sure about Sunday weather yet. I was hoping to run on Pre's trail, and check out Pre's rock. Not sure about a race, but let me know about that. I am really looking forward to the trip, I think Oregon will win again, but we shall see!

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    1. Do you know how to find/where to find Pre's rock? The race EWEB Run to Stay Warm is on the river path- another great course, and it starts just a half mile from the start of Pre's trail. Not sure if I already told you this, but a friend and I are volunteering, so will be at the registration tables that morning.
      We'll see if the Ducks can hold their spot!

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  14. Love the pics! Beautiful! And you little one...oh!
    OK, so it is so interesting to me that your HR was all over the place and then later in the day after a nap it was back to normal. I mean, the only thing that changed was sleep, right? Interesting! And that was a great workout, the 5x1000m :).
    I have no problem running slow when I don't have a record of the run. I run 2 of my runs without a watch every week and really enjoy them. I stop or walk if I feel like it, I have no pressure or go by how I feel. I need those runs and really look forward to them.
    Yes, lots of things to be grateful for. Yes, freedom, oh, so important!

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  15. I had another weird day today with it, but i think it had to do with my shirt and maybe some static. Eventually it stopped spiking up, though.
    I don't trust myself to run slower without a watch or monitor :)It's an idea though! haha

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  16. Raina, it is obvious that you have so much to be thankful for...I could eat your kids up ;)

    Good call on postponing the interval training...

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  17. Sounds good on the race, most likely I will make it out for it. Seems like it goes partly on Pre's trail, so that would be perfect since that is the main spot I want to run on there. If I do it, I'll likely just sign up on race day - maybe see ya there!

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